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Air Pump Repair
Steven from King Kekaulike High School volunteered more community service hours for his Senior Project on Aquaponics. This coincided with one of the system air pumps going out as evidenced by lower than normal air output from the aerators in the fish tanks. So Steven had an opportunity to repair a diaphragm air pump. The 4 air pumps for the system are configured in a parallel array similar to a computer RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) for high availability. When one of the air pumps shuts down, the total capacity of of system air is reduced by about 25%, allowing the system to continue to operate albiet at a reduced level. The defective pump was identified by feeling the suction at the input of the air pumps, with the defective pump having no suction. All of the air pumps are connected to the system through independent check valves to prevent air loss when a pump is removed. Also, this type of pump is used because it is quiet enough for a residential urban farm. A spare pump is kept to swap out the defective pump, and operation is resumed at 100% air capacity after the swap is made. A repair kit with parts is kept to fix the defective pump once it is out of the system. In this case, both diaphragms were broken, and Steven replaced them successfully. Good job Steven!
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